Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Manipulative Selling

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on September 2, 2009

Really good sales people can also be really good manipulators.  We have a way of painting word pictures and asking leading questions to position our product or service as something that the prospect would almost feel stupid to turn down.


I’ve learned to never trap a prospect although it’s very easy to do and sometimes even works.  They feel violated when they are trapped.

Here’s an example of trapping:

  • First you ask: “Mr. Smith you can see how my product can save you a lot of money can’t you?” Of course the answer is yes if you’ve made a decent presentation.
  • Then you follow up with: “Mr. Smith I’m sure as an educated man you appreciate the value of saving money anywhere you can don’t you?” Of course he’s going to say yes…if he doesn’t it means he’s not an educated man based on how you positioned your question.
  • Then you trap him with a question like this: “So Mr. Smith you’ve basically admitted in your own words that to not purchase my product would be a foolish decision, haven’t you?” WOAH – Awkward! Wrong! Please don’t do this! Ever.

This may seem extreme and silly to a mature salesperson. However, even subtle and crafty trapping carefully woven in to a presentation gives sales people a bad reputation and cannibalizes their credibility.


  • If a prospect ever feels that saying “No” is an undignified answer then you have abused your roll as a salesperson.
  • Selling is not trapping people so they feel guilty if they don’t buy, but it is serving people with information that educates them on the value of your product or service.
  • As a general rule of thumb avoid asking leading questions.

This awkward question is fun to ask…

Posted in Personal Development, Selling by elephanthunters on August 19, 2009

Here’s a fun thing you can do starting today to add some seasoning to your conversations:

Ask someone this powerful question: “What’s your story?” and then shut up.

Here’s some cool things about this question:

  • Everyone has a story
  • You may think you know their story but you’ll be surprised at how they answer.
  • Not everyone will get it and they will ask what you mean. Just reply with “You know, your story…everyone has a story.” (Smile and then shut up again)
  • They may tell you their life story or just a short summary of how they started working here or a story that’s not even theirs.
  • They will assume the context but that’s what makes it fun. (don’t give them guidance)
  • They may have to think about it for a while and they may blow you off.
  • You will always hear something you didn’t know or at least learn something about their personality based on HOW they reply.

Ask people you know. Ask people you don’t know. Ask your spouse. Ask your flight attendant. Ask your parents. Ask your boss. Ask yourself.

Everyone has a story.

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Call Reluctance

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on July 7, 2009

Anyone that has been selling for more than two weeks has felt call reluctance at some level.  No matter how much you love your job and the company you represent.  No matter how thick your skin is and how polished you are…you inevitably will face the ‘don’t want to dial blues’.

Sometimes it’s the fear of rejection, sometimes it’s mental or emotional fatigue, or it can even just be a spell of boredom.  Here are 3 steps to overcome call reluctance:

1) Clear everything off of your desk.  I mean EVERYTHING.  Throw everything in a drawer except for your computer and phone.

2) Write down the names and numbers of 10 people that you’re committed to calling that day.  Make the 1st 3 people on the list people who you don’t have to sell something to.  People who will want to talk to you.  It can be an existing customer, a co-worker, your mom…it doesn’t matter who they are as long as you’ll look forward to talking with them.  Make the next 7 warm prospects.  No cold calling.  Put the names on a yellow pad (not on your computer…we’re trying to break away from the normal cycle and make it fresh)

3) Turn off your computer…not just the screen but the whole thing.  Shut it down.  Take a 5 minute (no longer and no shorter) walk and commit to calling everyone on the list as soon as you return.  Call everyone on the list before you turn on your computer or do anything else.

Simply dialing the phone 10 times will get you back into a sustainable rhythm that will break the dry spell.  Call reluctance is like sitting on the side of a swimming pool wanting to get in and swim but not wanting to go through the initial shock of the cold water on your body.  Analyzing the decision and preparing for days does nothing to make it better.  You just have to jump in.

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